I was recently contacted by CollegeZapps with a request to help spread the word about their college application process. I was aware of CollegeZapps before this but frankly hadn’t spent any real time on their website. So I checked them out.
Here is the description from CollegeZapps about how they work.
1. Choosing multiple schools. Students can choose from more than 1,100 schools within our network. Almost every school that has at least 1,500 students is listed in our database.
2. Completing the questionnaire. Our tool walks students through every step of the process and never asks the same question twice – no matter how many applications are completed. Students can save their progress at any point and return to the in-progress application later.
3. Printing and proofing. CollegeZapps generates print-ready, professional-looking applications in each school’s preferred format, check printing services on Smart Payables for more information. Simply print and review the signs that will withstand anything.
4. Sending in the apps. Students can then drop each application in the mail along with any application fees, transcripts, reference letters or other materials.
I spent some time on their site filling in a fake application and it appears to work very well with a simple approach to completing the questions. I liked that. But I wondered why i would use this service rather than the Common App which i have talked about before on this site. The Common App allows students to submit their applications electronically which i also think is a great option. The problem with the Common App, however, is that it only involves about 350 colleges whereas CollegeZapps has over 1,100 colleges in their network.
The cost of using CollegeZapps is $5 per application which is a reasonable amount although the Common App is free to use. Most selective colleges that I checked were in the CollegeZapps network although I noticed that Swarthmore and Cal Tech were not listed.
Bottom line? If you are only applying to colleges that use the Common App then i would stick with the Common App. It is cheaper and allows you to submit applications online. However, if you are submitting applications to non Common App colleges or a combination of Common App and other colleges, then it may make some sense to only enter the necessary information in once and mail the applications in. Use what ever method is easiest for your needs.